Spring is in the air and for many of us, that means we start thinking about spring cleaning. The change to warmer weather brings with it an awareness of all the things that have piled up on our to-do lists over the winter.
Unfortunately, most of our spring cleaning efforts are focused on our homes and yards. We tend to forget the personal aspects of our lives that need attention as well. Your mind, body, and soul need spring cleaning the same way the material things in your life do.
When it comes to spring cleaning, personal development and self-renewal are equivalent to moping the floors and cleaning out the closets. Spring cleaning your soul can be a motivating process that starts the new season off right.
We all know the basics of spring cleaning our home and that it can be overwhelming when you don’t know where to start. Cleaning out your soul is no different. It can often be difficult to decide where you should begin the process or what areas are most in need of renewal.
Before you do anything by way of action, the first aspect to consider when beginning the process of spring cleaning your soul is your energy.
If you want to change your life you are going to need energy, otherwise, you are not going to get anything accomplished. So, starting with your body is probably the best way to begin your spiritual spring cleaning plan.
Spring Cleaning Your Body:
In order to assess what work needs to be done, you should begin by gauging how you feel. Often times we fail to act due to a simple lack of energy. If winter has left you feeling drained and fatigued there are a few straightforward tips that can help you increase your energy and prepare your body for the emotional journey ahead.
Be sure that you are eating well.
Proper nutrition plays a huge role in the amount of energy we have. Follow a food guide as much as possible to ensure you are getting all the daily nutrients required.
Get enough rest.
Most of us get by on far less sleep than recommended. The average adult should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Throw in work, stress, socializing, and children and the lower end of that scale is barely met by the majority. Try to get as much sleep each night as possible. Creating a bedtime routine can be helpful in relaxing your body and mind. A warm bath, quiet time alone, a good book, or relaxing music/sounds can also help set the mood for sleep. Don’t forget to cut back on caffeine as well. Find a way to get more sleep and you will find more energy as well.
It sounds strange but exercise truly does increase energy. If you can muster up the strength to workout, even if it is just a short walk, you will find that you have more energy afterward. This is because exercise releases unique chemicals in the brain and sends oxygen to our muscles. For more details on the benefits of exercise on your energy levels click here.
Drink more water.
Dehydration is a common cause of fatigue and low energy levels. Be sure that you are staying hydrated by plenty of drinking water or other healthy liquids throughout the day. Steer clear of beverages that have a high sugar content or caffeine, such as coffee and energy drinks. These liquids provide a temporary burst of energy that is often followed by a hard crash. For more information on exactly how much water you should be drinking try this hydration calculator.
I am not an expert on this topic and have never tried it personally, however, healthy detoxifying has become popular in recent years. There are many options available that can help you quickly clear toxins from your body. Supporters say that a good detox can leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. You can learn more about detoxifying your body here.
The Next Step…
Once you are done spring cleaning your body and have raised your energy levels you can begin focusing that energy on the emotional aspects of your life that need attention. This means all those things that have an impact on your mental well-being. This can include things like stress, work, friends, relationships, lifestyle, depression, and family – to name a few.
As the quote at the head of this post says, “Clutter and Chaos come in all shapes and forms”. When you are assessing your life for spring cleaning you must look at all the various aspects. You have to dig deep into your daily routines and clear out any clutter that has accumulated over time.
Spring Cleaning Your Mind:
When you are spring cleaning your soul, you must focus a great deal of our energy on renewing a positive attitude and adjusting your mindset. Time, stress, and obligations can cause clutter in our minds. Over time this clutter creates negative thoughts and disorients your view of the world. If you truly want to achieve a happier life you must clear out this negative clutter. You can not have a peaceful life with a cluttered mind, just as you can’t have a peaceful meal in a cluttered kitchen.
There are a number of things to consider when spring cleaning your soul, but none is more important than remembering changes of any kind take time and hard work. Be patient with yourself and focus on one thing at a time.
Below are some tips to help with your spring cleaning:
- Calm your soul to start the process. Listen to calming music or meditate. Get your soul in a calm and open state before you begin the spring cleaning process. Really open up your mind and consider all the things in life you are blessed with. It is important to put yourself in a relaxed, positive state before approaching the negative aspects of your life that you want to change.
- Revitalize relationships. Take some time to analyze all the relationships in your life, consider which of these are positive and which are negative. Ask yourself questions such as, ‘How does this person make me feel?’ ‘What do they add to my life?’ ‘What do they take away?’ Asking yourself these questions will help you decide who should or should not be in your life.It can be difficult to accept that we grow apart from people we were once close to. However, if you are not gaining anything positive from the relationship, that room that could be used by someone else. If you are still questioning the purpose of your relationship with someone, ask yourself these questions and listen to how you feel. When in doubt, control the amount of time you spend with this person and allow the relationship to end or grow naturally on its own.
If you find there are people in your life that you want to spend more time with or relationships you would like to refresh, take note and reach out through action. Chances are that person is feeling the same way about you.
- Make self-awareness your new major. When spring cleaning your soul, you can not avoid searching within yourself. Evaluate your attitudes and actions. Ask yourself ‘what you wish you did more and what you wish you did less.’If you want to develop as a person you must pluck out those negative thoughts, both about yourself and about others. Focus on yourself for a long time and take action towards change once you are comfortable making decisions.
This part of the process is a ‘journey’ and is not something that happens overnight. In the beginning, you should seek out the obvious changes and act immediately on turning them around.
For Example: If you wish that you were not so hard on yourself about your image, start a list of all the things you love about the way you look. If you wish you were more outgoing, make a point of striking up a conversation with someone or trying something new each day.
Little changes within ourselves and our attitude can make a world of difference in our lives. Something as simple as choosing to smile can open endless possibilities that you never saw before. Your main focus should be placed on positivity in any form.
- Relinquish Obligations. You can not clear the clutter out of your life without considering your responsibilities and obligations. So many of us fill up every spare moment with outside obligations. Your current journey is the perfect time to assess those responsibilities and decide if they still suit their purpose and are worth your time.Are you still taking that spin class you hate because you feel obligated? Is that sewing class really a good way to spend your time? Do you really need book club? Do you even enjoy your Sunday afternoon social group? Consider all the things you are tied to at this time. Now, ask yourself what they actually give you.
If you truly enjoy these obligations, keep them. On the other hand, if you find it is difficult to get yourself there each week then it is time to let them go, regardless of why you feel obligated. Just like you did with your relationships you need to ask yourself if they are adding something positive to your life or taking away time that could be better spent with someone or something else.
Don’t allow guilt to trap you into something you don’t enjoy. Explain to whoever it is that makes you feel obligated that you gave it a try but it is just not for you. They will understand, and if not perhaps it is a friendship you need to reassess.
These same principles apply to all the ways you spend your time. If you find that something you are doing with your day is not productive or positively impacting your goals, then find something you enjoy. People forget how fast time flies, why waste another moment on something that does not make you happy or moves you in the direction you want to go?
- Sweep out past emotions. Just as you did before you must look within yourself. This time you are going to pull any old, past, or stale feelings from under the rug and sweep them out the door. Feelings such as guilt, resentment, heartache, anger, and criticism have no place in your life in this moment. So, show them the exit and wave and bid them farewell.You will always have negative emotions at some point. However, you need to feel them and then set them free. Holding on to old pain does nothing but drag you down in the long-run.
- Backdown from battles. If there are any long-standing issues you have with someone, this is the time to make amends. Take time to consider whether there is a reasonable solution to the issue that works for both of you. If so, approach the other person and try to repair the damage that has been done.It is important to make amends so you can move forward with your life. If the wounds are simply too deep now is the time to forgive (them and yourself) and let the battle die. Alternatively, you may want to consider seeking counseling if you find yourself unable to let go of past resentment.
Backing down from battle has nothing to do with fear and everything to do with fulfillment. There comes a point in life when you must accept that you can not please everyone, and focus on pleasing yourself instead.
- Concentrate on your strengths. Let go of all your expectations and simply excel where you can. We weigh ourselves down trying to do everything perfectly instead of simply focusing on what we want to do. Think about all the things you are really good at and build upon them.It is better to be really good at one thing then to try to be an expert on everything and feel as if you have failed. If what you are good at is something that you enjoy, which is usually the case, then even better.
Furthermore, you should also let go of ‘I wish’, and the ‘If only’. Just be who you are and do what you want because you want to, whether you are good or not. For example, If you love to sing, do it. Find a karaoke night and make yourself a star. If you are having fun, enjoying yourself, and spending your time the way you want to, it is worth every second.
- Fight your Fear. Change is always scary. That is why it is something that we often resist. If you truly want to spring clean your soul you are going to need to look fear in the face and fight it with all your might. Assure yourself that these changes are leading you to a better place. Remind yourself that you are worth the effort.Deep and personal development of this kind is never easy. There are always going to be obstacles that seem to be in your way, break them down and move forward. Tell yourself every day that you are worth it and know in your heart that it is true.
Everyone deserves to be happy, no matter their lifestyle or personal circumstance. Happiness is a choice. It is a state of mind. By spring cleaning the clutter in your life and making a conscious effort to be the best possible person you can be, you are helping to create your own happiness.
The lessons involved in spring cleaning your soul are things that you will not find outside of yourself. They can not be bought in stores and there are no shortcuts. Each person is different and for some of you, it will be a life-long process that depends on regular maintenance. Just like the efforts required to maintain a clean home, spring cleaning of your soul requires upkeep as well.
This process takes time, effort, and energy. Get yourself to a place where you are comfortable with who you are and accept that. Realize that you do not have to be everything to everyone in order to be happy. Though acceptance and gratitude you are not saying “I am fine, this is enough” but rather you are saying “I am ready now, I can handle anything.” This mindset cannot be accomplished without looking at life as a whole, not just one aspect of it. Open your mind, clear out the clutter, and make room for bigger and better things.
Until Next Time…
Start Your Spring Cleaning.